Asilomar State Beach

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Parking
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Beach Wheelchair

Features

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Parking
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Beach Wheelchair

Information

Website:
visit link
Address:
Asilomar Conference Center, 800 Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Region:
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Phone:
Info: 831-646-6440 or 831-372-8016
Hours:
Trails and beach always open
Dogs:
On leash
No pets in conference center buildings
Known for its distinctive white sand, Asilomar State Beach, in Pacific Grove, is about a mile long, with Sunset Drive and the California Coastal Trail behind it. This stretch of the Coastal Trail is composed of, intermittently, a boardwalk, firmly packed material, and soft sand. It offers some wheelchair access, although blowing sand and severe cross-slopes in some places along the boardwalk can be a hindrance. It’s well worth a visit, to take in the great views from an accessible deck with benches, to listen and watch waves leaping and crashing over rocks, and perhaps spot some harbor seals, California sea lions, and sea otters. Guided nature walks are offered by State Parks, free of charge. Check for times at the registration building (Social Hall) on the conference grounds. You can also rent bicycles and borrow a beach wheelchair (reservations required) at the store inside the registration building, and pick up a leaflet describing dune plants.

Asilomar Conference Grounds, at the northeast end of the beach, is part of the state beach. The conference center was designed by architect Julia Morgan and built between 1919 and 1928. Eleven of her original buildings remain, the largest collection of Morgan's architecture in one location. The grounds, restrooms, restaurant, and gift shop are open to the public. An accessible boardwalk travels from the conference grounds to the beach and over sand dunes, offering a rare close-up glimpse of a dune restoration project.
 

Trails and Pathways

Trail:
Coast Trail
Trailhead Location:
Jewel Avenue at Sunset Avenue
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Terrain:
Firm
Trail:
Conference Grounds Dune Boardwalk
Trailhead Location:
The most level entrance within the conference grounds is between the chapel and barbecue/picnic area.
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Terrain:
Hard
Trail Overview: The name Asilomar is derived from the Spanish words for refuge (asilo) and sea (mar). After you take a tranquil stroll through the dunes, you will agree that the name fits. Along the way, you’ll find an ongoing dune restoration project and also get a glimpse of what the Monterey Bay area was like prior to development. From the conference grounds, follow the boardwalk to the first right. Continue straight a few hundred feet to the ocean, or turn right to meander a short distance through the dunes, where sand verbena was plentiful on my visit in June. At the next junction, turn right to climb gently uphill, where the trail overlooks the dunes, then leads back to a different entry point on the conference grounds. If you turn left at the junction, you will shortly be presented with two options: Go left and slightly uphill to a dead end with a viewing area and benches, or turn right to leave the trail by the native plant greenhouse. The route back to the registration building from here has some steep sections.  
More Info: Although the boardwalk is a hard surface, the segment through the dunes has ripples and is quite bumpy.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, firm;

Spaces are along Sunset Drive at Jewell, Arena, and Pico Avenues. However, space for deploying a wheelchair lift is tight. One parking space is next to the registration building on the conference grounds. Park here if you are borrowing the beach wheelchair. With a disabled parking placard, you can disregard the 10-minute limit.


Accessible Restroom:
Yes – In the conference center registration building (Phoebe Hearst Social Hall)

Beach Wheelchair:
Yes – Pick up at the registration building (Phoebe Hearst Social Hall). It may be used on site or taken to other local beaches if you are able to transport it. Reservations: 831-372-8016.

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; Next to registration building

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